Tuesday, 3 February 2015

DIY Faith and a Fire Extinguisher for Agnostics.

When I was a teen, CHOV radio, Pembroke, played the top ten rock and roll tunes in an hour-long Thursday night countdown.   Those were simpler times for music and faith.   Today, song lists of 100 for R&B/Hip Hop, Latin, Christian/Gospel, Emerging Artists plus Reggae, Smooth Jazz, New Age and Comedy are always on.  Today too we have a thousand little DIY religions blooming across the land.

In the fifties, my neighbours were, as far as I knew, Christian.  Now I often don’t know, myself included.  Despite the patching together of beliefs about karma and meditation, about sin or the denial of sin, about “making love not war”, about the possibility of big government actually working, about an Eden-like state of nature, about eating vegetarian and blessing homosexual unions, the faith DNA still has that distinctive tang of anything touched by Christ.   It’s like a fire extinguisher on the wall behind a glass door, “Break Open in Emergency”.  It's available, recognizable, useful in emergencies, and rarely called on.

Individuals are patching together their Theory of Everything (T.O.E) like a bride’s trousseau, something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.  It’s hard to see how in a single lifetime you can master the data, time and wisdom to come up with a customized just-right-for-you faith but folks are hard at it.  I’ve read the Bible carefully enough to know that when friends and neighbours say “I believe in God but don’t go to church”, they have generally stuffed heretic and scriptural beliefs into the same pod, beliefs that are at war with what Christ said.  They seem happy enough.    It’s our nature to make sense of things.  It’s also our nature to take shortcuts and close off inquiry as soon as we have enough explanations to get by.

I think “agnostic”is the humble position to adopt though it may be wrong. When Christ asked Peter:  "Will ye also go away?" Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go?"  My T.O.E.  hasn't enough evidence to follow Peter but I have none better.     I think about a self-organizing universe while humming "Tell Me The Stories of Jesus".

No comments:

Post a Comment